Researching and Recording
Civil War Veterans Burials
in Michigan Cemeteries
- Some Hints on Researching Civil War Veterans Burial Sites
- Explore the reference section of the library with a genealogical
or local history section, for the county, the cemetery you are
researching. Try to find cemetery recordings of the local genealogical
society. These recordings usually mention war service of those
buried in cemetery. The researcher should note that most society
recordings only account for those veterans whose stones mention
Civil War service. There were many veterans buried without military
markers or family markers that mentioned Civil War. service.
- Use the information on Civil War Veterans in these records to
fill out a graves registration form for any veterans listed (there
may be more than one reading that you can use for your research).
Fill out what information is available, you will be able to verify
it and add to it as you follow up on your work.
- This will save you time out in the field. Try to copy a map
of the cemetery so that you can use it to record your route through
the cemetery. (Some cemeteries are quite large and a map will
help you plan your route and you can mark where you stop, so that
you know where to restart on the next visit).
- If a copy of the original burial records are available, at a
library or local government office, try to photo-copy the relevant
pages. (Many burials are listed in original records, which have
no stone at cemetery or may show a grave that was moved).
- Plan your trip to the cemetery for your walk through to record
possible Civil War Veteran sites. Be sure to take writing supplies,
the forms you filled out earlier, blank forms for others you find,
a partner, and a camera (with film!). A camera can be used to
photograph any Grand Army of the Republic or Civil War monuments
and could be used to photograph headstones, if needed.
- A photograph will save many trips back to the cemetery as you
are working to confirm veteran status.
- Be sure to record all males born prior to and including 1848.
Also record names in this range which have abbreviated or unisex
first names, as they may be veterans.( e.g. B.F. Jones, Roxy Noller)
Also record names where birth date or date death are unknown.
You may find later that this individual is veteran. If the male
was in correct birth range but died prior to or in 1890, record
wife's' name and dates if she lived after 1890. (This is because
surviving spouses of Civil War. vets. were recorded in the 1890
Special Census of Veterans).
- It is recommended that at least two walks through are conducted
for each cemetery, you may need even more to complete a thorough
- When you have all of the possible veterans recorded from your
cemetery walk through/s, compare it to the original burial records
you should be able to add or eliminate names to your possible
list. The use of a computer data base or spreadsheet program helps
tremendously with such a large project and so much information
that you are working with.
- You should now use as many resources as possible to either confirm
or deny possible veterans on your list.
- Resources: G.A.R. Post lists, available at MI State Library
in Lansing, MI., and on film at some L.D.S. Family History
Centers. ( These will even give you veterans who served in
other states but lived and were usually buried in MI.)
- Local County or community history books usually listed
Civil War. veterans.
- MI veterans burial index at the MI State Library at Lansing,
- MI Soldiers and Sailors Index and volumes of service records.
1890 Special Veterans Census (Index in book form, census on
- United States Civil War Soldiers Living in Michigan in 1894:
Genealogists of the Clinton County Historical Society, St.
- Unit histories or diaries of officers.
- Newspaper articles or obituaries. ( Some libraries have
scrapbooks with Civil War. vet. obits.)
- When all veterans are accounted for and graves registration
forms completed , send copy of each form to Camp Graves Registration
Officer, who will enter the data into the SUVCW Graves Registration
database. This data will then be forwarded to the Department of
Michigan Graves Restoration Committee, by disk. The Department
of Michigan Graves Registration Committee will forward a copy
to the National Graves Registration Committee. For more information,
please contact Richard
- If a veteran is found with a broken or deteriorated military
stone, or does not have a military stone or a family stone with
military service on it, contact the Camp Graves Registration Officer,
send him the proper documentation and he will process the stone
order or schedule repairs.
|©Copyright 1995-2006, Department
of Michigan, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, a Congressionally
Chartered Corporation. All rights reserved.